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Monday, March 23, 2015

GF Confetti Cookies


Sometimes, you just want an easy cookie.

Boom!


I was a little skeptical when the recipe called for only a stick of butter and 1 egg - no liquid. 
And it did mix up a little weird - kind of like when you cream butter and sugar. Starts out dry, but comes together at the end. Same type of thing here.



Jameson was so excited to help me make the dough balls.
(This was a big deal for a kid that's not even supposed to play with play-doh.)



They turned out great, and tasted awesome!
Would not have known they were gluten free if I didn't know they were gluten free. :)



Soft and chewy.



Fun-fetti-ish.



I didn't eat all three of these.
Yes I did.



I highly recommend them!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Poteggos


Does anyone else get just really bored with the same old things in rotation for dinner?

I like to break the monotony once in a while, and took some inspiration from Pinterest this past week and came up with a new creation. The kids and I called them "Baked Poteggos." How fun is that?

They're ridiculously easy, and very affordable! At less than $0.20 for an egg and potato each, this meal is crazy cheap, let's not underestimate it.

First, you bake your potatoes (whole), wrapped in foil at 350 for about an hour, or until a fork goes into them easily.

Then, carefully cut them in half - I used a pot holder to allow me to hold them while they were hot. Use a spoon to scoop out the inside of the potato halves. I saved that scooped potato and Matt made some mashed potatoes out of it for lunch the next day.
Crack an egg in each potato half and pop them back into the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the eggs are done to your likeness.




Voila - dinner!

Except I thought they looked kind of boring. So I dressed mine up like a taco. Avocado, cheese, salsa, and a bit of sour cream.

Party in my mouth!




If I eat a fried egg, I like my yolk runny so I can dip my toast in it. I would have preferred these yolk a bit runnier, but I guess I baked them too long! Oh well, they were still so good!



Ladies and gentlemen - Baked Poteggos.





What's your best "throw-it-together" food creation?

What's your go-to cheap dinner?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Reptile Gardens: Opening Weekend 2015


In conversation with a friend on Saturday, he mentioned that Reptile Gardens had opened up this past weekend. A quick look at their Facebook page confirmed that, so off we went on Sunday morning!
The crowd was small, since it's not yet tourist season, but the weather couldn't have been more PERFECT on Sunday. It was sunny and 80 degrees.




Jameson by the picture of "his" snake.




Monty. The Burmese python. Monty the Python. Get it? Ha.


Prairie Rattlesnake. All over the place out here. I liked this one the best: behind glass (though you can't see it in the picture!).




It was a fun little trip. If you're ever in the Black Hills, Reptile Gardens is definitely a must on your attraction list, whether you have little ones or not!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

"Clean" Alfredo Sauce

After letting my eating habits go to crap over the last few months, I'm challenging myself to eat "cleaner" for two solid weeks to see if I notice any changes in body composition, but more importantly, the overall way I feel (more energy, less bloat, better mental focus, etc).


My hope is that I DO notice a difference and continue on the path of cleaner eating, allowing myself treats in moderation, and in the process of doing so, I can be in the shape I hope to be for this summer, which hopefully holds a lot of adventure for my family and I.


The reason I put "Clean" in parentheses is because I feel like everyone's definiton of clean is different, and that's perfectly fine. This sauce has cream cheese and cow's milk in it, which I don't really think it considered clean by a lot of people, but it's still much healthier than the junk from a jar.


Another thing to note is that the original recipe calls for all-purpose flour which is not really an option in a celiac household. But no worries. I just substituted the flour with cornstarch.


My husband's favorite meal is chicken alfredo. I love it too, but that sauce from a jar - FULL of preservatives and chemicals, of course. I found this recipe from The Skinny Fork on Pinterest and decided to give it a go.


Wow. The taste of this sauce is flippin' delicious. I'm not even joking. When I make it in the future - because you know I'm going to - I will cook the cauliflower longer, as it had a bit of a grainy texture to it from the cauliflower. But errmahgerrsh. This stuff is bomb.


I took very few pictures because - as usual - I got excited and got ahead of myself.  The picture quality is also less than awesome off of my iphone. I really plan to start using my nice camera this year. Seriously this time. Ha.


Here's the recipe, directly from The Skinny Fork:
2 C. Cauliflower, Cooked
1 1/4 C. Fat Free Milk
3 oz.. Fat Free Cream Cheese
1 Tbsp. Flour
1 Tsp. Salt

1 Tbsp. Light Butter
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 C. 2% Milk Italian Cheese Blend, Shredded





So the first step is to cook your cauliflower. When it's all said and done, you want two cups of cooked cauliflower. The recipe did not state how finely to chop the cauliflower, but I just cut off the florets similar to broccoli size. I was going to boil them, but we have an electric stove that takes 8 months to boil water (I can't WAIT to have a gas stove again!), so I stuck the cauli in a glass bowl with a little bit of water and microwaved it for a total of ten minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes to try and evenly cook the cauli.


While you're cooking the cauliflower, you melt your butter in a saucepan and sautee your minced garlic in it until the garlic becomes translucent and tender. This is about the time your kitchen stops smelling like cooked cauliflower and starts smelling like butter and garlic. Yum.





When the cauliflower is cooked, you put it in your food processor with the cream cheese, milk, and salt and blend it up. Then, pour that mixture into the pan with the butter and garlic. Stir the mixture over medium heat until it starts to thicken. Once it's thickened, pour in the Italian cheese, stir, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes.
You'll have something looking like this:





I spend at least a couple hours each Sunday prepping healthy food for the week, so I already had some grilled chicken cubed up in the fridge. While I was working on my clean alfredo, I boiled up some gluten free pasta, warmed up the chicken, and then put it all together.











You want some, don'tcha?



If you're skeptical about the taste of alfredo sauce made with a base of cooked cauliflower, I can't say that I blame you. But I encourage you to give this a try if you're looking to clean up your diet a bit.

If you have leftovers and warm this sauce up, you might need to add some liquid (I added skim milk). And I also learned that Great Value GF pasta - while delicious the first time - does NOT warm up well. But...know I know. :)

Let me know what you think if you try this!